Working in the hospitality industry is exciting, fun and sociable. The best thing about this industry, though, is that it’s an ideal job for an expat with travel lust. If you find you have a talent for pulling a pint or sizzling a steak, opportunities abound. Pubs and restaurants are a global business – you can take your skills nearly anywhere in the world.
No experience and just looking for beer money? Start at the bottom and you’ll quickly work your way up. “I went from a glass collector to a general manager of a thriving and successful business,“ says Sam, the GM of The White Horse in Richmond, who has aspirations to own his own pub, bar or restaurant one day.
Sam’s just one of the people working in the hospitality industry who appears on the #thiscouldbeyou blog on the British Beer and Pub Association’s website, pubandbarcareers.com. Seeing as you probably haven’t set your sights on general manager just yet, here’s one of the case studies to whet your pub and bar industry appetite.
Zoe Harbour, 24, has worked her way up from the back of house to restaurant floor manager at Missoula Bar & Grill, gaining six promotions in no time at all.
“This is the sector that recognises and rewards hard work, promotes career progression and above all else is a lot of fun,” says Zoe.
Despite graduating with a BA History degree in 2010, a waitressing stint changed her whole career path.
She then took a back-of-house role at The Living Room (now Missoula) in York. “This was the best thing that I could have done – by glass collecting, refilling stock and cleaning I learnt all of the basic skills. I gained respect from all members of staff by mucking in too.
“After then bar-tending for six months, I was promoted to an in-store trainer position. I became mother hen, looking after the new members of staff. That was my first taste of real responsibility.”
With her eyes open to the prosperous career on the horizon, Zoe made the most of the experienced team around her and cross-trained to become a waitress, and is now floor manager.
“I know it is cliché – but in the hospitality industry you really do have the opportunity to make so many friends and live an amazing lifestyle. I wouldn’t change it and I would recommend it to anyone.”